Veteran linebacker K.J. Wright remains unsigned after spending the 2021 season with the Las Vegas Raiders. While he played in every game with the Raiders, his snap count total plunged substantially — 425 defensive snaps is the fewest per game of his career — and his role was nothing like his days with the Seattle Seahawks.
At 32 years old (he’ll turn 33 next month), the sun is setting on his playing days, and he’s well aware. In an interview broadcast on SiriusXM, Wright told the “I Am Athlete Tonight ” show that if he is to continue playing, it has to be for the team that drafted him back in 2011. Otherwise, he seems to be content just retiring from NFL competition.
“I mean, I love ball, but I’m not willing to pick up and leave my family like I did last year,” Wright said (quotes via Gregg Bell of The News Tribune). “Because my family had to stay back. They didn’t come with me to Vegas. I’m not doing that again. “And so I think it’s pretty well known where I stand at, how I want to end my career, going into my 12th season. “If it’s not in Seattle, then I’ll be all good.”
“It’ll hurt. I know that walking away from the game will be, you know, that that’s hard to do,” Wright added. “But they (the Seahawks) know where I stand. They know where I stand. “But I love my family more than I love football. So I’m not willing to just up and go to a team mid-season for five months. I got three kids and I love them way more than just up and leaving them to play some ball.
“So we’ll see. Seattle knows my heart. It only makes sense for me to go back. And so we’ll see what they end up doing.”
There’s nothing to indicate that the Seahawks would bring Wright back to the linebacker rotation. Having just let go of Bobby Wagner as a cap casualty, it’s abundantly clear that Seattle’s coaching staff is heading towards a youth movement at linebacker with Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton.
If we see Wright on the Seahawks again, it’d surely be in a non-playing role, which would still be cool. It’s heartening to see how much Wright loved being on the Seahawks and loves being in Seattle with his family. If this is the end for Wright on the gridiron, then it’s been a hell of a career as one of the more underrated contributors on those great Seahawks defenses. I hope that at some point we do get to see Wright with the team again in some capacity.